America’s lifeblood slips away

As of yesterday, Los Angeles set a record for the least rainfall in any year since records have been kept. Yet it seems as if no one is alarmed. In past Southern California droughts, the media was full of appeals to the public to conserve water. This time, there’s not a word about it, and Californians are watering their lawns in midday, ‘sweeping’ their driveways by spraying water, taking long showers, and denying the dangers of global warming.

It’s not just Los Angeles that’s in a drought. One-third of the continental United States is in a drought that has been drying out the West for almost a decade. Even the Southeast, which is normally a relatively wet part of the country, is mired in drought.

Pier sitting on dry lake bed
Lake Okeechobee in Florida at all-time low water level

Should Americans be concerned about these conditions? They should if they like their current standard of living. Meteorologists are warning that conditions similar to those which led to the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s are again in place in the 21st century. The Dust Bowl lasted more than a year and was so severe that it left over half a million Americans homeless (at a time when the population of the country was much smaller than it is now), and it played a significant role in prolonging the Great Depression.

Americans need to wake up to the threat that drought is posing to the country. Water is the lifeblood to so much of what we take for granted in our everyday lives. People in the effected areas of the country need to change their habits and conserve water, and all of America needs to take action to mitigate global warming so that drought does not become a permanent fixture in our homeland.

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